Final Four is set - Dribble still leads
We lost another 1 seed on Sunday, and the Final Four is set, but there is no change atop the leaderboard of Jabin’s March Madness Charity Pool.
Dribble, despite picking Kentucky and Duke on Sunday, remained atop the standings with 81 points. The biggest mover was David Turner, whose Michigan State pick vaulted him into a second-place tie with Tacalicious, just one point back at 80. NovaGuy1985 stands alone at 79, followed by Hawthorne Wingo at 76, and DAWGS RULE and JonStein1 tied at 75. Amy C and Hammy are then tied at 74, and then a five-way logjam at 73 with Rocket John, Cdr Bob, Roger Dunkelberger, Net Prophet, and Openwyd.
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but our leader Dribble has the Dookies as national champions, so there is still some movin’ and shakin’ possible next weekend at the Final Four.
Spartans, ready your breakfast and eat hearty. For tonight we dine in Hell!
I try to live my life by two rules, borrowed from the great philosopher Vizzini. The first is “never get involved in land war in Asia,” and the second (though slightly lesser known) is “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” But I’m thinking about adding a third: “Never bet against Tom Izzo in the Big Dance.”
Michigan State clearly had the lesser talent in its epic battle vs. Dook on Sunday, but Coach Izzo found a way. Mostly led by sensational guard Cassius Winston, Sparty went toe-to-toe with the talented Dookies for 40 minutes on Sunday and came out the other side with a berth in the Final Four.
Mind you, I’m not a huge fan of Izzo’s methods, and he flipped out on a kid with one minute left in the game during a timeout. Not as bad as the more publicized one a week or so ago, but given the circumstances and situation, what the heck was he doing? But who am I to argue with his methods - he’s clearly doing something right.
For the Dookies, we say goodbye to the one-and-done class of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish, and we’ll see them at the NBA draft, most likely all three lottery picks. I’m not going to pile on the Dookies tonight, but rather I have a confession to make. You long-time pool players who know my feelings on Dook and Coach K might want to sit down for this: I actually liked watching this team play. Zion Williamson is worthy of the hype (although I think he gets calls), and Barrett and Reddish are going to make great NBA players. Regardless of how you feel about the whole one-and-done thing in college basketball, this was a fun team to watch, even when I was rooting against them. Wow, that felt good. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m maturing.
War Eagle flying to Minneapolis
In the other Elite 8 matchup today, an all-SEC affair, Auburn outlasted the Kentucky Wildcats in overtime. This was also an epic battle (the 114th time they have played each other), and after Kentucky went up 11 early on, Auburn roared back to make it neck-and-neck throughout the second half. In the end, especially in overtime, it was just too much Bryce Brown (24 points) and sensational guard Jared Harper, who had 26 points, but more importantly controlled the game beautifully for Auburn. Charles Barkley was very happy, and looked good in his Chuxedo (Hello, Friends).
It also didn’t hurt that Auburn had the emotional support of Chuma Okeke, who went down with a brutal ACL injury in the Sweet 16 win. He watched the first half from his hotel room, but joined his teammates behind the bench in the second half.
OK, so I’ll be back to you on Saturday night after the national semifinals, when we should know a LOT more about the outcome of the pool. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, to make your donations at the GoFundMe site here.